Copper thief caused £10,000 of damage to Hartlepool house

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A man who stole copper piping from the house next door caused more than £10,000 of damage.

Keith Robinson vandalised the property in Warren Road, Hartlepool, leaving water running through it, Teesside Crown Court heard.

“The house had just been refurbished for rental,” said Emma Atkinson, prosecuting.

“Entry was gained by forcing a rear door.

“Piping, a boiler, kitchen cupboards, and other items were taken or damaged.

“Police found a screwdriver in the house which was linked to Robinson via DNA.

“Quotes for repairs were between £10,000 and £13,000.

“The owner was covered by insurance, but will still have an excess to pay.”

Robinson, 35, of Warren Road, Hartlepool, admitted burglary between March 25 and 30.

He has previous convictions for burglary and producing cannabis.

Jim Withyman, defending, said in mitigation: “This offence was committed when Mr Robinson was addicted to drugs.

“He has since served a period in custody which has enabled him to come off the drugs.

“He is now working as a roofer, paying tax, is back in contact with his daughter, and generally back on a legal footing.

“Mr Robinson knows he could go back to custody today, but is determined to stay out of trouble if he is allowed his liberty.”

The Recorder, Mr Anton Lodge QC, sentenced Robinson to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.

The recorder told him: “You have already had a suspended sentence activated, so you know it is up to you if you serve this one.”

Robinson was ordered to do 150 hours of community work, and pay £600 compensation to the owner of the house.